Hello my dancing friends!
I have just returned from a wonderful weekend at Soma Ranchparticipating in a new Nia weekend experience/training called Nia Floor Play, Art of Play. Nia Floor Play, which is actually cycle 6 of our classic Nia class, is a beautiful way to keep your body youthful by PLAYing. The practice uses space, time and gravity guided by the element of play to creatively condition your body. The art of Nia FloorPlay is blending one move into the next to create a beautiful dance that massages and strengthens the whole body from fingers to toes. I had so much fun and BOY do I feel fantastic!!
I have a full schedule of teaching Nia and Yoga this week, and look for some of my Nia FloorPlay learnings in my classes! We will be focusing this week on our Latissimus Dorsi muscles with the intent to strengthen our back and release our shoulders.
Latissimus dorsi means “widest back muscle” in Latin. The latissimus dorsi muscles, or lats, originate on the upper back of the pelvis and on the vertebrae of the lower and lower middle back. The lats fan diagonally up both sides of the back, across the ribs, around the sides and through the armpit to wrap around the inside of the upper-arm bone (your humerus bone!). The main functions of the lats are to pull the arm down towards the pelvis, and in hanging positions to bring your body up towards your arms. By strengthening our Lats we release our shoulders and support the many movements of our shoulder muscles, joints and bones. Since the lats are connected to the arms and upper back, they help hold the back upright, can play a part in preventing slouching and are used to maintain good posture. They also provide core stability that help in preventing falls! WOW!
Do this with me:
Inhale and bring your shoulders to your ears and on an exhale, soften the shoulders back and squeeze your lower lats, as you draw in your belly button towards your spine.
Notice how your heart opens and how you lengthen though your spine.
Now release the squeezing and be with relaxation, keeping your posture. Do you feel taller?
Now act as if you are wrapping yourself with a cape from behind and give yourself a big hug by crossing the arms and placing opposite hands on opposite shoulders. Lengthening through your spine exhale and draw your chin slightly inward, and allow the expansion of the space between your shoulders and all through your lower back. AHHHH!!!
I will be teaching a new Nia body of work I created using music from B-Tribe that incorporates Yoga and conditions our latissimus dorsi muscles. We will be using visuals of a beautiful cape and a diamond on our back! The music is magical and I hope it will inspire your dance. My yoga classes will also use music from B-Tribe. Here is a sample for you to dance to: B-TRIBE
Check out my schedule HERE! On Saturday we have a double wave of FUN with Nia at 9:30 am and Nia FreeDance at 5:00 pm. I can't wait to be with you!
Namaste and Love!